Intuitive eating is taking the health and wellness world by storm. Not only for its correlation with weight loss and lower BMI, but more so for its overall promotion of good mental health. In many aspects, it’s everything that the traditional diet is not, as it’s not solely based on the philosophy of restriction. Do we have your attention yet?!
Step 1: Listen to Your Signals
Intuitive eating is based on the awareness and understanding of hunger signals - simply listening to YOUR BODY (and we’re all for that!). You’re meant to keep your body nourished in order to produce energy. It’s about building a trusting relationship with yourself and allowing your body to guide you in terms of when/how much to eat vs. following a prescribed set of rules. That could be as simple as grabbing a quick shake when you’re feeling peckish, to avoid going long periods with hunger.
Step 2: Avoid Excessive Hunger
Let’s be real, no one wants to be caught hangry- if you’ve lived it, you know that it sucks! When you reach a point of ‘so hungry I could eat a horse’ mentality, your good intentions of moderation and conscious eating are out the door. Step 2 is recognizing when you’re hungry, and feeding your body according to your biological signals.
Step 3: Embrace Positive Mental Health
The founding principle of intuitive eating is not to restrict calories. In fact, recent studies suggest that intuitive eating may lead to a reduction of binge eating and more control over eating for emotional reasons (think eating straight from the ice cream tub). Intuitive eating is also associated with a greater positive body image, body satisfaction, self esteem, etc. So don’t think of food as the enemy- especially foods that are high in fat and/or carbs. Instead identify and be mindful of the reasons that drive us to eat... and from that build on healthy eating behaviors.
Step 4: Feel your best self
With intuitive eating comes respecting and accepting yourself. Forget heavy weight-centric exercises, HIIT workouts, and interval training- instead focus on leading a healthy & active lifestyle. For instance, trying a 30 day full body challenge on easy in Flat Tummy App! This will get your body moving, your blood flowing, but won’t feel like you’re obsessing about your weight, and won’t cause you to over-do-it. Having a lazy day instead? Go out for a walk, grab some fresh air!
Step 5: Don’t forget your nutrition
One of the ‘beauties’ of intuitive eating, is that you’re throwing away the calorie counter, carb counter, fat counter- basically all of the nutritional counters! With that said, the last step to intuitive eating is to make sure you make choices that work for your tastebuds, but also your overall health and nutrition. We’re all about balance, but nutrient deficiency will not help keep you energized, motivated, and focused for your day ahead! If you’re looking for some healthy meals or snacks for inspiration, be sure to check out our 750+ recipes in Flat Tummy App!
So, is this too good to be true? Will it work? Well, depends what you mean by “work”. There’s no concrete evidence that intuitive eating is any more effective than being at a calorie deficit… BUT, a positive correlation has been found between a healthy relationship with food vs. calorie counting/obsessive weighing. If you ask us, there’s definitely value in being able to step back and identify the underlying reasons that lead us to overeat, because this gives us the opportunity to ADDRESS THEM and cope in a healthier way, therefore eliminating overeating.